I have been attempting, since the beginning of February, to say the Divine Office every morning. Of course, I've been doing this with more or less success, given the day of the week, the temperature outside, the random fluctuations of the tree leaves outside my window. You know, some days Yay! Some days Not So Good.
While I normally just read it alone (no one else in THIS house is up at 5:45 a.m., I can assure you), for the past couple of weeks, I have been meeting a friend at church and saying it with him 3 mornings a week. I immensely prefer saying it with another person.
I let Don be the leader, and he reads all the scripture readings. It is a joy to sit in the church just listening to the lessons.
Today was one of those moments when I was banged upside the head by the Holy Spirit. Today's Old Testament reading was Deuteronomy 5:1-22; the Ten Commandments. And I was fine. I was sailing along, checking off my mental checklist. "Yep, good on that one. Yep, that one too."
Until we got to verse 21. Neither shall you covet your neighbor's wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's.
There. Right there. That's where the Holy Spirit smacked me.
I don't have much problem with coveting things. I don't want my neighbor's house, or his maid, or his field, or his lawnmower, or his minivan.
But what I do covet is my neighbor's cross, because his is so obviously lighter than mine. Isn't it?
I covet my neighbor's burdens, because I could deal with those. Couldn't I?
I covet my neighbor's relationship with God, because I deserve that. Don't I?
And then I flashed on something that Smock's smart and dear hubby said in one of our Bible studies. We were talking about why the path is narrow that leads to heaven and why the path is wide that leads to hell. Smockhub said something that fit in perfectly with the Holy Spirit's smackdown today. The path is narrow because it is our path. Made for one. Me. Your path is narrow, because it is meant for you. We may travel side by side in many ways. But my ups and downs are what God has decided are necessary for me to live through to achieve my sanctity, if I'm paying attention. Yes, we walk together some of the time. And part of my path may be helping you up when you fall, and you may need to kick me on down the road when I want to sit and whine.
But I can't walk my road while I'm busy looking over at yours and coveting it. "But I want what she's got. I could walk that road. It's not fair!"
So it's not just things we have to worry about coveting. It's much, much more than that.